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Dissemination of genetic improvement in beef cattle

With respect to beef cattle breeding, the emphasis devoted by researchers, beef cattle producers and beef cattle experts has been, in general, focused on identification, evaluation and selection of sires. Little attention has been given to the pathway used to spread the genes from such sires throughout the population as a whole. The reported low annual genetic progress observed in several herds might suggest that, in spite of having some success in promoting genetic improvement as observed in isolated herds, such dissemination occurs in a disorganized manner. Such procedure might explain the observed situation where the progress accomplished by some herds is masked by the negative genetic trends observed in others. The theoretical basis of genetic dissemination in beef cattle is reviewed and some theoretical models involving the pyramidal structure of beef cattle production are analyzed, as well as the calculations of the genetic lags involved in each situation.

beef cattle; genetic lag; dissemination; animal breeding

Sociedade Brasileira de Zootecnia Universidade Federal de Viçosa / Departamento de Zootecnia, 36570-900 Viçosa MG Brazil, Tel.: +55 31 3612-4602, +55 31 3612-4612 - Viçosa - MG - Brazil